Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Sesame style birthday

We survived yesterdays big day with minimal tears. Annabelle didn't cry too much either.
She's too cute for words.
She's recently started enjoying animals so we took her to the zoo. She hated the flamingos which is unfortunate seeing how I find them fascinating. Growing up I tried fitting them into every game possible. Flamingo basketball, flamingo badminton, flamingo volleyball. None of my siblings ever got as much enjoyment out of standing on one leg as I did. We skipped the snake exhibit because EEEEWWW. Nobody needs those nightmares. Many of the animals were inside because it was "too cold." It was 50 degrees. These southern zoos don't have hearty animals. The giraffe was inside because she was pregnant. It was the first time I've ever had sympathy for a giraffe. Exactly a year ago I was in her same position and not enjoying it one bit.

AB LOVED the goats. She pulled their ears and thought it was hysterical when they moved their heads.
Sizing up the baby alpaca. She wanted to bring him home and I said yes. Dad said no.
At the very minute Sesame turn one (SOB SOB OMG I CAN'T HANDLE THIS) we were watching the elephant. I didn't feel like crying at all. I say every year goes by quickly but this year really takes the cake. I feel like four minutes ago I was seeing her for the first time and now she's one.
My sunglasses need their own zipcode.
After the zoo we went to PF Changs for lunch. As the person who is mainly responsible her being in this world, I felt I had every right to dictate where we ate. Plus AB likes fried rice. It was a win win location.
Can you believe how much she loved her birthday cupcake? The joy is written all over her face!
She's one of the few children who would rather eat green beans than a chocolate cupcake.

Friday, March 27, 2015

birthday eve

Tomorrow is Annabelle's first birthday.

As fits my calm and unsentimental personality, I didn't said anything along the lines of "This is your last bath/lunch/outfit/snack before you turn 1" or doubled my picture taking of her this week. I've simply carried on with life as usual, knowing children grow and move away and that's the way it is. Sunrise, sunset and all that. The fact that I took a picture of her in the bath, eating lunch and in her cute outfit today was a PURE COINCIDENCE.
She's either eating a blueberry or blowing a kiss. It's hard to tell.
Oh, I kid. Do you really think I could have gotten through the week without shedding some tears or finishing off the bag of chocolates I found on the top shelf of the pantry? When I told Christopher we couldn't schedule anything tonight incase I needed to stay home and cry, he said "I assumed as much." He understands me. 

Time for more chocolate and tissues.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

in which Annabelle predicts the gender of her future inlaw

As future members of the royal family we're very excited about the upcoming birth of William and Kate's baby. We're especially excited to learn the gender as the baby will be AB's brother or sister in law. This morning I had Annabelle, Prince George's future bride, predict the gender. I told her to pick the crown if she thinks it's a boy and the tiara if she thinks it's a girl.

I'm delighted that she thinks it's a girl. Imagine the wardrobe Annabelle will be able to borrow from!
Checking to see if the tiara is pure silver.
This is her "My tiara is too tight" face. All the royals out there understand the feeling.
Opinions subject to change at any time without notice.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

prepare to be completely underwhelmed by all the details provided about our weekend

MOPS was having Parents Night Out on Saturday so our plan was to drop AB off then go to the movies to see The Second Best Marigold Hotel. We hadn't seen the first Best Marigold Hotel so we did our homework and watched Friday night. It was much more enjoyable homework than the time I watched seven Harry Potter movies in two weeks so I'd have an idea of what was happening when the eighth movie came out.

Halfway through the movie Sesame woke up and started coughing and wheezing like a three pack a day smoker. Poor baby was warm, had a runny nose and didn't even want Mr. Lion because she couldn't breath and have him at the same time. Christopher went up to give her a bottle and alerted me to the situation via the baby monitor. I bounced out of bed and got to the monitor quicker than Usain Bolt running in the Olympics. I have been so excited ever since I realized that our monitors can be two-way. (What am I? A four year old boy?) I don't know what comes over me but I feel like throwing around the phrases "ten-four" and "over and out" as if I'm discussing a military secret and not whether we have baby tylenol.

Saturday afternoon (are you bored yet?) we went to Best Buy to find me a new computer. I generally don't like computer shopping but thanks to the thieves of Columbus, I've had to do it three times in the last six weeks.

I have very simple computer requirements:
1. nice sounding keys
2. internal disk drive
3. easy to operate without thirty little boxes on the main screen
4. number keys on the side, not the top

I've learned I must be the only one who has those requirements because they don't make computers with all four anymore. Might as well add 'printer that uses perforated pieces of paper with the little holes on the sides' to the list of things I'll never have again.

I'm sure I provided entertainment for the person watching the security camera when I put my ear three inches from each and every keyboard so I could decide if I liked the sound or not. Christopher told me the rest of my list was, "How computers were 10 years ago. People don't put disks in their computer anymore. Most people don't even use cd's." I DO. I still borrow cd's from the library. What happened to companies that satisfied the needs of ALL their costumers? I don't want an external disk drive. It will be another thing I have to keep somewhere and plug in. Furthermore, why don't they sell record players here? What kind of establishment is this? Needless to say I wasn't in a good mood that afternoon.

I needed a little mama time after the computer ordeal so I went to the salon for my twice-yearly manicure. Thankfully I enjoy picking out nail polish colors much more than I enjoy picking a computer. It was a peaceful time for all of 3 minutes. A young mother was there with her three year old daughter and 4 month baby boy. The little girl had her nails done then the mother held the baby with one hand while her other hand got filed and painted. If I wasn't there because I needed a break from my own baby I would have offered to help. The girl sat next to mom saying over and over that she was thirsty, that she had a spider web painted on her nails (why?), that the baby was crying (as if we didn't know) and finally, that she needed to pee. I was interested to see how the mom would handle that latest announcement. Was she going to bring her to the bathroom with wet nails? We all know that never works. Was she going to risk the girl having an accident? By now the girl was poking around by the cash register. Her mother hollered, "SERENITY! Get over here!" There's one girl not living up to her name.

My purple nails and I next went to the Hob Lob because it was a day ending in Y. I picked up some paper for Sesame's birthday party invitations and almost started crying in the scrapbook paper aisle. She's almost one which is almost twenty which means she's almost married and I'm almost a grandmother!! It was very reminiscent of this exact time last year when I was about to cry in Hob Lob because I was simultaneously so tired of being pregnant and not ready for the baby to come.

Sick Baby kept us from MOPS on Saturday and church on Sunday, but we did get out to enjoy the warm weather in the afternoon. She's really into bird watching these days.
I can't get over her chubby little feet.
Christopher and Sesame had a little father/daughter dance session.
I finished off the weekend by telling Christopher my opinions on Michelle Obama's wardrobe. Topic number 564 he never thought about before we were married. It's been so informative (and emotional) for him to be with me.

Monday, March 16, 2015

it was a dressy affair

When I was young I had my heart set on being on a poster. I had visions of hair and makeup people dolling me up. It was very appealing to my twelve year old self.

Fast forward a few years to the day I received an email from eShakti asking if I'd like to review a dress. I was all "Which dotted line do I sign?" My poster dreams were about to be fulfilled. Then I realized I'd have to take pictures of myself wearing the dress while standing awkwardly in front of the garage door. Have I mentioned I am my own hair and makeup person? Have I mentioned that I don't live with a professional photographer? Have I mentioned posting pictures of myself makes me squirm?

Thankfully Katie was already scheduled to come to town so she once again saved the day. We hired child labor dressed the babies up and used them as props, as one does. They need to accept the reality that we mostly had them because we needed living props.

Our goal was to recreate a 1940's housewife picture who can do it all while wearing pearls, heels and never looking flustered. Let's start with a few bloopers to give a feel for how it went.

Annabelle is pulling at my dress because she thinks it's lunchtime. Kezia is ripping her headband off. I'm trying not to drop the broom or the babies.
Katie said to look out the window contemplatively. I accidently stood on the vent and look five months pregnant.
Dealing with some wardrobe malfunctions.

I love this dress. The lace on the shoulders and around the back is beautiful. If my invitation to dinner at the White House ever arrives or Christopher becomes president (both equally unlikely) I won't have to worry about what to wear.

Standing around doing nothing but holding onto the mantle, as I often do.
It is a little wide in the waist to shoulders area but I firmly believe that's due to tape measure user error. I choose to customize the dress instead of picking an generic size and we (Christopher) had some issues with my measurements. Namely, my suspicions that I have weird proportions have been confirmed.

I was provided with a coupon code for any interested parties. I have never felt so professional in my life. Tomorrow I'm going to buy a briefcase.
Please note:
* Coupon code ofdandelionsanddaffodils is valid for 10% off 03/02/2015 – 04/02/2015. 
* Code has to be entered in the ‘promotional code’ box.  It is not case-sensitive.  
* Code can be used any number of times until the validity period. 
* This discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.
* Not applicable on previous purchases.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

at this point in their lives they're better as long distance friends

Katie and her baby Kezia came to visit us for a few days.

Allow me to give a rundown of what Katie and I did during childless sleepovers in years gone by:
paint our nails
watch a movie
stay up late
go shopping
play long games
sit around drinking tea
eat lots of popcorn
This is what we did when responsible for an 11 month old and a 10 month old:
nurse the babies
feed the babies
change the babies
give speech on sharing
put one baby down for a nap
play with the other baby
change the baby
put second baby down for a nap
first baby wakes up
play with first baby
second baby wakes up
keep second baby from pushing first baby over
change second baby
feed the first baby
feed the second baby
etc etc etc etc etc etc

It was every bit as relaxing as it sounds.

Kezi loved Annabelle and usually wanted to be THIS close to her. Friendly waves that ended up being hits and hugs that resulted in her pushing Annabelle over were the norm. Annabelle didn't appreciate the enthusiasm. For someone who doesn't respect the personal bubble of her mother she sure gets annoyed when someone is in hers. They have yet to learn the finer points of being best friends.  

We did manage to introduce the girls to one of our favorite pastimes- the photo shoot. You'd never know they weren't this lovey dovey and angelic the whole six days.
Is the flower on Sesame's headband too small?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

but let me tell you how I really feel

Dear Annabelle, I love you and I'm so glad you're my baby. If you ever read this I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I love you now that you're here but I in no way loved getting you here. In fact, I'd be perfectly happy to not repeat the process for twelve two more years.

I have something I need to say. Ladies on the internet had me thinking the day I had my baby would be the best day ever. I feel like outside of mothers whose babies have gone to the NICU, I've never heard anyone say they didn't like the day their baby was born.

Below are three actual statements I've read on the world wide internet regarding birth days:

* "I pulled my child to my chest and suddenly I forgot all about the pain. It was all worth it."
* "I looked into my baby's eyes and saw the grace of God shining through."
* "As soon as I saw him I knew I wanted to have ten more babies. "

The day I had my baby was the most scarring (literally and figuratively) day of  my life.

The epidural part wasn't awful. It made me throw up but I had been throwing up for months so that was nothing new. The only difference this time was I had an audience. And I was wearing a hospital gown that didn't cover me properly. The procedure they did to try turning Annabelle from her breech position wasn't comfortable at all but it was a picnic in the park compared to what was coming. They were trying to move something on the inside of me from the outside which by definition is very awkward.

I remember the brief moment when Christopher announced she was a girl but I didn't immediately feel overly excited even though I wanted a girl so badly. I was too busy staring at her for what seemed like an eternity trying to figure out why she looked like my childhood friend. Had I married him and not Christopher? I was so confused. 

My immediate next thoughts were along the lines of "I AM IN SO MUCH PAIN. I CAN FEEL YOU DOING THE SURGERY. THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE. Does she have hair? SOMEONE GIVE ME SOME MEDICINE. Does the baby have 10 toes? WHY AREN'T YOU GIVING ME MORE MEDICINE???!!! WHY AREN'T YOU MAKING IT STOP!" Half of me was trying so hard to move away from the pain but the other half kept thinking that if I moved I would mess up what they were doing. I was numb so I couldn't move anyway but that didn't occur to me. All I knew was I wanted to be anywhere else (preferably a place where I was fully dressed) and that I wanted the pain to stop. The room was spinning around and I was sobbing and SO SO cold. One of the anestesiologists put his face two inches from mine and, trying to make me feel better, said "I'm sure those are tears of joy." Um. Do I look like I am full of joy? 

Eventually they wheeled me back to the room. I kept crying and shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. I saw Christopher holding the baby in the corner. Somehow, I don't know how, she ended up on my chest. I'm pretty sure I didn't ask to hold her. I don't even remember if I kissed her or not. I just remember thinking was she was tiny, warm and soft. I kept saying, "I don't want another baby. I don't want another baby for a very long time. Probably never." When the nurse came in and karate chopped my stomach in the name of checking for clots I wanted to punch her out of the room but I didn't have the strength.

Even in my worst moments I knew there was something I had to do. She NEEDED a bow so people wouldn't think she was a boy. The part of my brain that controls my obsession with bows was alive and kicking. (Quick story about the first bow Sesame ever wore. I didn't find it at a classy boutique or on etsy. I found it at the end of my driveway. I don't normally take possession of things I find on the road but I considered it a sign. I washed it a few times and put it in the hospital bag. The first thing my baby wore that wasn't a hospital hat was essentially a piece of trash.)

I would give all my money and Lindor truffles to have tiny Annabelle back.
No one tells you the epidural might not work. No one tells you that you might feel cutting and stitching. I expected immediate pain if I delivered her naturally, but not from a section. This is the 21st century. I thought modern medicine reached a point where feeling pain during surgery was a thing of the past. Don't get the idea that I think I had the worst delivery in the history of deliveries. People have it worse and I'm not trying to one-up anyone. I'm so thankful Annabelle was perfectly healthy and came home with us three days later. All I'm saying is if you didn't like the day you're baby was born, you're not alone. Let's all go to Dunkin Donuts together and talk about how much we roll our eyes when ladies talk about birth being "fun" and "easy". 

For those of you who haven't had a baby yet, I'm not trying to scare you. Is it too late for that? You probably aren't too excited about the idea after reading this. In fact, this might be some of the most effective birth control you'll ever have. When it's all said and done there is a light at the end of the very rocky labor tunnel. 
But don't get too excited. You're baby won't be nearly as cute as mine.

Monday, March 2, 2015

a party's not a party until you get out the straws

I'm sure you've all been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to hear how the shower/social went.
No one died, no one got food poisoning from my cake, and no one seemed to notice I hadn't dusted the vent in the wall since we moved in in a while so overall I'd say it was a success.  One little boy did try to jump off the landing into the living room below but thankfully his mother stopped him just in time. I would have hated for the party to turn into a prayer meeting as the boy was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. For your viewing pleasure I have provided a visual. He tried to launch himself off above the 'Lord Bless this Home' sign.
You'd think I could have cropped out the little giraffe head sticking up at the bottom of the picture.
Don't think the day didn't go off without a hitch. I had a carefully planned schedule for the week so we wouldn't end up doing everything on Saturday, but I spent the day running around like a lunatic. Sesame woke up at 6:40 and decided it would be a great day to boycott her nap. She spent her time eating crumbs out of the dirt pile as I was sweeping. Don't even get me started on the cake. I bought what I thought was a cake mix only to discover it was a brownie mix two minutes before I put it in the oven. I bought a new mix, baked it and before I even started to decorate it I almost had a meltdown because the tiny pink cake hearts I carefully placed inside weren't right. I may or may not have wanted to throw the whole thing away and buy a cake. Being a perfectionist is very hard. Hard for me and hard for the people I live with. Christopher was trying to be helpful so he said, "It doesn't matter how it looks as long as it tastes good." IF LOOKS COULD KILL we'd be at his funeral right now. Luckily for him I was satisfied with the end result and didn't spend my weekend picking out a casket.
The Abigail sign took me three episodes of Gilmore Girls to sew.
Walmart had a grand total of one adoption card and I didn't like it so I reworded a regular baby card. I'm sure Hallmark will be hiring me to write their cards any day now.
This is where the normal progression of things would bring us to a photo of people enjoying themselves around the table. Or in this case, eating on the floor like people at a Korean restaurant because we didn't have enough seats. I was so mortified. Instead, please take a moment of silence to gaze upon my fancy straws.

I almost stood at the door and handed them out as souvenirs. Maybe handing out chairs would have been a better idea.